Writings of Herbert W. Armstrong
edited by Jackson Snyder, 12/29/00
- Jeremiah's Strange Commission
Jeremiah's Strange Commission
was driven out of [sic. into] Assyria, 721 B.C., Judah had not yet
sinned as a nation. Through Hosea, Elohim had said, "Though thou,
Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend," Hosea 4:15. But
later "her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played
the harlot also," and Elohim finally said, "The backsliding Israel
hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah," Jeremiah 3:8-11.
And so, 117-140 years after Israel's captivity, the time came when Elohim
drove out the Jews, too, in national captivity, and banishment, for their
2520 years of national punishment. For this purpose Elohim raised up a very
special prophet, whose real call and commission few, indeed, understand.
This prophet was Jeremiah. He was one of the three men, only, who were
sanctified before they were born. The other two were John the Baptist and
Yahshua Messiah (see Jeremiah 1:5).
when first given his vital call and commission, was a young lad of 17.
Before he finally completed it, he was an aged, white-haired patriarch.
The commission is recorded in Jeremiah 1:10:
"See," Elohim says to Jeremiah, "I have this
day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to
pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, TO BUILD, AND TO
There it is! Jeremiah was set over THE nations -- more
than one. He was a Jew, living in Judah. He was set a prophet over Judah
-- but not Judah alone. Over THE nations -- Judah and ISRAEL! He was set
over them to do two things: to tear down something, and then to build and
to plant something. Jeremiah was used of Elohim as a prophet to warn Judah of
their sins, and of the coming invasion and captivity at the hands of
Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon unless they repented. He was used as a mediary,
a go-between, between the kings of Judah and Nebuchadnezzar, the Chaldean
It is well
known that Jeremiah was used in destroying the kingdom of Judah. But --
note it in your Bible! -- he also was commissioned to PLANT and to BUILD!
What was he to plant and build? Why, naturally, that which was pulled down
and rooted out of Judah -- the THRONE OF DAVID. He was set over THE
KINGDOMS -- Israel as well as Judah. He was used in throwing down that
throne from Judah. Then what was he commissioned to do in ISRAEL? Ah! Note
it! The second half of his strange and little-understood commission -- to
PLANT AND TO BUILD! So far as the world knows, the last king to sit on
that throne of David was Zedekiah of Judah. He was thrown down off it and
the throne rooted out of Judah in the year 585 B.C. -- nearly 600 years
before Messiah! What, then! Did Elohim forget His covenant with David? Did
the throne CEASE?
KINGDOM -- the GOVERNMENT of Judah ceased, as had the kingdom of Israel
more than 130 years before! But see what else Jeremiah was commissioned to
do -- to PLANT AND TO BUILD! To plant and rebuild among the house of
Israel, lo, these many days without a king -- among LOST Israel, now
supposing herself to be GENTILE! Therefore, the identity and location of
the re-planting must remain hidden until this Time of the END in which we
JUDAH Taken Captive to Babylon
If you will
carefully reread the important Book of Jeremiah, you will notice the first
few chapters are devoted to his ministry in WARNING the Jews of their
impending invasion and captivity unless they would repent. But they would
not repent. And so, finally, the invasion came. The first siege was in 604
B.C. On the exact date corresponding to December 9th (as calculated by the
Roman calendar), Nebuchadnezzar marched into Jerusalem, taking it captive.
However, he did not at once drive out all the Jews. He did not even drive
out their king, Jehoiakim, but made him a vassal king, the servant of
Nebuchadnezzar. As such he continued on his throne, as did two more kings
after him, Jehoiachin, his son, and Zedekiah, his brother, until the year
585 B.C. (Read II Kings 24.) In that year, Zedekiah's 11th year as king,
the Chaldean armies besieged Jerusalem, entered it, the city was broken
up, the palace and temple destroyed. ALL the sons of King Zedekiah were
killed before his eyes so that there would be no man to carry on his
dynasty, all the princes of Judah were killed. King Zedekiah's eyes were
put out and he was bound in chains and carried to Babylon where he died.
You will read of all this captivity in II Kings 25, II Chronicles 36,
Jeremiah 39, and 52.
Jeremiah's Mysterious Movements
And now the
first part of Jeremiah's strange commission is accomplished! So far as the
world could see, or has seen since, the dynasty of David had ENDED! No
king remained on the throne. Judah's last king was dead. All his sons were
dead. All other princes who might be possible heirs to carry on the
dynasty had been killed. No possible heir to the throne, so the world then
believed, remained alive. But how about the SECOND part of Jeremiah's
great commission? Was Elohim able to keep His covenant with David? Was He
able to PLANT, and REBUILD that throne? Jeremiah was among these captive
Jews. Yet he must remain free to carry out the second part of his
"the captain of the guard took Jeremiah, and said
unto him . . . behold, I loose thee this day from the chains which were
upon thine hand. If it seem good unto thee to come with me into Babylon,
come; and I will look well unto thee: but if it seem ill unto thee to come
with me into Babylon, forbear; behold, all the land is before thee:
whither it seemeth good and convenient for thee to go, thither go. So the
captain of the guard gave him victuals and a reward [expense money], and
let him go," Jeremiah 40:1-5.
Jeremiah was left FREE to perform the second half of his
Where did he
go? We come now to an amazing, fascinating, thrilling part of the Book of
Jeremiah that has been almost entirely overlooked. "Then went
Jeremiah unto Gedeliah to Mizpah; and dwelt with him among the people that
were left in the land," verse 6. Now this Gedeliah had been made
governor over a remnant of Jews in the land by the king of Babylon, and
since Jerusalem was destroyed, had made Mizpah his headquarters. But the
king of Ammon plotted with a Jew named Ishmael to assassinate Gedeliah.
The plot was executed; the governor, and part of the Jews were slain.
Jeremiah was among the survivors.
"Then Ishmael carried away captive all the residue
of the people that were in Mizpah, even the king's daughters, and
all the people that remained in Mizpah, whom Nebuzaradan the captain of
the guard [from Babylon] had committed to Gedeliah and carried them away
captive, and departed to go over to the Ammonites," Jeremiah 41:10.
Ah! Did you
catch it? Read that passage again. Among these Jews were the king's
daughters! Daughters of Zedekiah, king of Judah, and of David's
dynasty! King Zedekiah had died [in prison in Babylon, Jeremiah 52:11].
All his sons had been killed. All the princes of Judah had been killed.
All possible heirs to David's throne had been killed -- except the king's
daughters! Now we see why Jeremiah went to Mizpah!
Jeremiah, with Royal Seed for Replanting, Escapes
Soon a man
named Johanan replaced Ishmael as leader. And in fear of reprisals from
Nebuchadnezzar and the Chaldean army, they appealed to the prophet,
"and said unto Jeremiah the prophet, Let, we beseech
thee, our supplication be accepted before thee, and pray for us unto
Yahweh thy Elohim that Yahweh thy Elohim may shew us the way wherein we may
walk," Jeremiah 42:2-3.
The word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah,
and He told them not to fear, that He would protect and deliver them.
But the people wanted to flee to Egypt. This Yahweh warned them not to
do. If they did, it was feared that the sword of Nebuchadnezzar would
overtake them there and they would die, Jeremiah 42:7-16. But, as people
usually do, they rejected Elohim's warning. "Thou speakest falsely," Johanan answered
Jeremiah, Jeremiah 43:2-3. And so Johanan
"took all the remnant of Judah even men, and women,
and children, and the king's daughters and Jeremiah the prophet, and
Baruch the son of Neriah [Jeremiah's scribe, or secretary]. So they came
into the land of Egypt" Jeremiah 43:5-7.
was Jeremiah's constant companion and secretary. It is important to note
here Elohim's promise of protection to him:
"Thus saith Yahweh, Elohim of Israel, unto thee, O
Baruch. Behold, that which I have built will I break down, and that which
I have planted I will pluck up, even this whole land, but thy life will I
give unto thee for a prey in all places whither thou goest," Jeremiah
His life, like Jeremiah's, was under divine protection!
Egypt, Elohim warned these Jews again through Jeremiah that they should die
there by the sword and famine, and "none shall return but such as
shall escape," Jeremiah 44:12-14. Yes, a few in this company are
under divine protection. A divine mission is to be performed. They shall
ESCAPE! Yahweh continues: "Yet a small number that escape the sword
shall return out of the land of Egypt into the land of Judah,"
Jeremiah 44:28. Jeremiah, Baruch, and the royal seed for replanting and
rebuilding David's throne, all under divine protection, were to escape,
and return to the land of Judah! Then Jeremiah and his company were to
journey to a strange land which they knew not, Jeremiah 15:11-14. Now let
Isaiah complete this prophecy:
"For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and
they that escape out of mount Zion: the zeal of Yahweh of hosts shall do
this. And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall AGAIN
TAKE ROOT DOWNWARD, AND BEAR FRUIT UPWARD," Isaiah 37:32, 31.
This remnant with Jeremiah -- at least one of the king's
daughters -- shall take root downward! That is, BE REPLANTED! And then
bear fruit upward! Be BUILDED! Has Elohim failed in His solemn covenant to
keep alive David's throne? Where was this planting and building? Can we
find it in Elohim's Word? We can! The place, and the people among whom the
throne was reestablished, are clearly identified!
The Pagan Christ: Recovering the Lost Light
By Tom Harpur / Saint Martin's Press
Denying literalist claims of orthodox biblical truths, the author questions the origins of the faith and sees parallels stretching back to ancient Egyptian religion. His call to Christendom is one of inclusivism, as his research has guided him to regard the Bible as having been based on older myths, myths that perhaps were diabolic attempts to undermine Christianity before it was birthed.
This book gives the reader an insider's view into one of the ways modern scholarship attempts to refute even the basic tenets of the Christian religion.
Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew
By Bart D. Ehrman / Oxford University Press
"A charting of the full theological kaleidoscope would take volumes, but it is possible, using Ehrman's book as a jumping-off point, to examine some of the most striking and widespread of the Christian roads not taken,"---Time. Follows the rise and fall of Ebionites, Marcionites, Gnostics, etc. 320 pages, softcover. Oxford University.
By Jacob Needleman / Tarcher
Unavailable for several years, Lost Christianity is a profound reexamination of the essence of Christian and faith. Philosopher and bestselling author Jacob Needleman has sought out the ancient texts and modern practitioners of essential Christianity, whose message speaks directly to contemporary seekers.
What Have They Done With Jesus: Beyond Strange Theories and Bad History- Why We Can Trust the Bible
By Ben Witherington III / Harpercollins Publishing
Recent pop culture views on Jesus are more than mind-boggling; they're often heretical. Seeking to set the record straight, Witherington reveals what we can and cannot know about the historical Christ---and accurately refutes the recent claims and implications of "Jesus papers," "lost Christianities," and secret first-century "Gnostic" teachings. 256 pages, softcover from HarperCollins.
Chasing Sophia: Reclaiming the Lost Wisdom of Jesus
By Lilian Calles Barger / John Wiley & Sons
Many women today are looking for deeper ways to know themselves and to connect with God, two forms of knowledge that are intrinsically linked. Unfortunately, many of these women have become frustrated with traditional religion's inability to reflect their real lives, turning instead to alternate spiritualities that purport to honor a woman's experience. In this post-feminist interpretation of Christianity, Lilian Calles Barger challenges both Christian tradition and feminist trends in spirituality to provide a fresh and inspiring look at divine wisdom, opening women's awareness to the voice of God in the world.
The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is
By N.T. Wright / Inter-varsity Press
A renewed and vigorous scholarly quest for the historical Jesus is underway. Out of his own commitment to both historical scholarship and Christian ministry, Wright challenges us to roll up our sleeves and take seriously the study of the historical Jesus. The Challenge of Jesus poses the challenge of learning to grow in our understanding of the historical Jesus within the Palestinian world of the first century, while following Jesus more faithfully into the postmodern world of the twenty-first century.